Having head pro call to reserve times at private courses.

2

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  • BMCBMC Members Posts: 3,558 ✭✭
    I work at a nice private. Our guys have no problem trying to arrange you a round. It happens all the time at private clubs. Asking the rate is not a problem, most private clubs make these calls for members all the time.



    Remember, the hosting club appreciates your "guest" fee, it's a business. Just don't ask your club's pros to do this too often (8 times a year for example), we're not your concierge. But, occasionally is fine.
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  • DancinDancin Members Posts: 259 ✭✭
    Dizz wrote:


    Also, be prepared for the cost and I would say if you're not willing to pay ~$200 (give for take $100) + a caddie fee then don't even waste anyone's time especially if it's an upper echelon club. Shying away from $300 for one round at a place that's $800-$1200/month for members is gonna get some raised eyebrows.




    Agree. Even basic/average private clubs will usually be charging at least double what public courses in the area are going for if you aren't with a member and pretty much every top tier course is going to require a caddie that'll run another $100 including the tip unless they have some kids that are basically just bag carriers. If $150 seems outrageous, then the idea of playing private courses is probably something to forget.
  • 1b!ggolfnut1b!ggolfnut Members Posts: 153 ✭✭

    Schley wrote:


    Ask other members about where they have played and what the guest fee was if you are unsure. You are not the only one who uses this private club reciprocity, as it is pretty common. If you become closer friends with the Pro/GM then maybe you can ask them, but wouldn't them to be bargain shopping for you, when in the end it is a favor. If you ask, be prepared to pay. The caddy plus tip can be more than the guest fee. Everyone has to make a living and golf at private clubs isn't muni golf, so embrace it for all of what it is and support it.




    Personally I've been pretty good friends with all our pros (the previous two maybe more so because they were closer to my age) and know them pretty well. I don't think they mind checking, but the most important thing is I really don't want to put them in a bad spot. I'll ask them today to tell me if it does (they're both pretty accommodating however, I don't know if they'll tell me if it does). None of the places I would be inquiring about are high end enough that they even have caddies, so not the cream of the crop I would be looking at. And were very much not high end so those places probably wouldn't talk to us anyway.



    Maybe I'll just stick to public when I travel.



    EDIT: I did go in blindly one time, and ended up paying almost $200 for a course that while decent and in very good shape, wouldn't have been more than a $50 course on the public market. Just something I won't do again.




    I would say it is fair pricing out mid level clubs (they typically want the revenue), but I wouldn't ask for a lot of these (make your pro do a shopping list). However, if you are asking for a high end club with caddies, you are essentially expecting to make $250ish in guest fees plus caddie fees.



    Sounds like you are avoiding the high end clubs so I don't think it is an issue inquiring.



    It is important to know that the member should never call, it should always come from your Pro (not GM either).
  • defnotaprodefnotapro Members Posts: 542 ✭✭
    I followed this post originally and have looked through others and wanted to ask everyone's opinions on a couple things. For the first time I asked my pro to ask for reciprocal play at a course I've been wanted to play out of state for a few years. He did an awesome job and was able to get me on.



    I travel regularly and have found several different ways to get on course but not all. So my questions are, how often or how many times in a year is out ok to ask my pro to get me reciprocal play and does anyone gift anything to their pro for doing so?
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  • Schley Schley Love ya don't tell ya enough! Kingdom of Saudi ArabiaMembers Posts: 1,158 ✭✭
    defnotapro wrote:


    I followed this post originally and have looked through others and wanted to ask everyone's opinions on a couple things. For the first time I asked my pro to ask for reciprocal play at a course I've been wanted to play out of state for a few years. He did an awesome job and was able to get me on.



    I travel regularly and have found several different ways to get on course but not all. So my questions are, how often or how many times in a year is out ok to ask my pro to get me reciprocal play and does anyone gift anything to their pro for doing so?




    Yes you should, IMO, take care of your pro with non-cash gifts when arranged. I have heard of some members actually taking the pro along on the round as well.
  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,916 ✭✭

    Golfnuck wrote:



    Do you guys think it is OK for the pro to also check on price when checking to see if they will let you play?



    I don't want to blindly commit to a round that might be far more expensive than anticipated.



    FWIW, I've had our pro check prices, but if that is putting them in a bad position I won't do it any more.




    I would not ask the pro to check on actual prices but the pro should ask if a guest fee will be charged and if a caddie is required as without a formal reciprocal arrangement each course will have different policies.




    Well now I'm torn as what to do in the future. I just won't show up to a course (I'm not talking about high end places by the way, just smaller, local privates) without knowing in advance the cost. If a person calls most courses as an individual, will they tell the guest fees? If they won't, its kind of catch22 situation.



    I really don't want to put our guys in an akward situation.




    We used to be members at a club and our head pro got us on a few places. I just always called a week ahead of time to confirm the tee time and then would check on the price.
  • txeconomisttxeconomist Members Posts: 242 ✭✭
    I’m curious, what club are you a member of in south Houston? Champions is a very nice club with highly ranked courses and Carlton Woods is among the most elite in the state.
  • scooterboy59scooterboy59 Members Posts: 978 ✭✭
    If you ask for your Professional to call another club about securing a tee time, I feel like your obligated to play and pay what they are asking. The only out is if you have to play at a certain time to make your schedule work, but don't expect to get one of those 9 am to 10 am times on Saturday morning. If it's a exclusive club you have to know it will be a lot $$$$$. I know of a fellow who was gotten on to a very private course. When he went in ahead of the others in the group and said he would like to pay for the group. Over $1000.00. Be prepared. There is a reason they are private.
  • Bluefan75Bluefan75 Members Posts: 3,875 ✭✭
    That is the spot I'm in. I don't like to not know what the price is. It's not that I won't pay it. I just like knowing the details before even asking. I once asked our pro about a course in Florida. He made some inquiries, and I think they realized there may be some uncomfortableness, cause in their reply they basically asked "please let us know if he is good with this." It was going to come out to about $200.



    That was an uncomfortable situation, but luckily, I don't think our course in Canada is likely to be too affected with this particular course if I did indeed burn the membership on this place. But still, I do not want to go through that again. I am good to the pro so this didn't affect future calls on my behalf, but ti's just an awkward situation. Since I didn't grow up in the environment, I've had to learn from the school of hard knocks.
  • PetethreeputPetethreeput Members Posts: 1,432 ✭✭

    davep043 wrote:


    Y

    davep043 wrote:


    I've only done this a couple of times, and I made the initial approach to the club I wanted to play. I also did it fairly last minute, as I don't expect them to allocate a tee time to me, and then have to turn away a member who wants to play. If they can see open spots in their tee sheet, they may be a little more willing to accept a guest.



    My call has usually been "Hi, I'm Dave, I'm a member at _____ GC in ______ VA, down here for a few days on vacation. Is there any chance I could play your course? I'll be happy to have my home pro call you to make the appropriate arrangements." When they've told me yes, I call my pro, he calls them direct, and it works out. You can also ask about costs during your first call to the course, that way you don't go through the whole routine if its outside of your budget.




    Good idea there Dave. I think in the future that's how I'll approach it, don't get our guys involved until its necessary. Have most clubs been receptive when you've called?


    Yeah, I don't remember ever having a problem. I've never tried this at a high-end course, and I'm not sure I'd even try at the rare private clubs in resort areas (like Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst). One thing I've done is to let my home pro know where I'm going, and tell him I might be calling. Lots of golf professionals have contacts all over the country, so you might get a good recommendation or better than average treatment if your pro has a good local connection.




    Good to know. Our guys are pretty young so may not have those connections. Our old pro must though, he just took a trip to California. Cypress Point, Riviera, LA Country Club, Monterey Penn CC., and SFGC.



    That just sounds like a really good idea. I really like not having to put our guys in kind of awkward situations.




    That must have been an amazing golf trip 😎
  • deadsolid...shankdeadsolid...shank ClubWRX Posts: 14,671 ClubWRX


    davep043 wrote:


    Y

    davep043 wrote:


    I've only done this a couple of times, and I made the initial approach to the club I wanted to play. I also did it fairly last minute, as I don't expect them to allocate a tee time to me, and then have to turn away a member who wants to play. If they can see open spots in their tee sheet, they may be a little more willing to accept a guest.



    My call has usually been "Hi, I'm Dave, I'm a member at _____ GC in ______ VA, down here for a few days on vacation. Is there any chance I could play your course? I'll be happy to have my home pro call you to make the appropriate arrangements." When they've told me yes, I call my pro, he calls them direct, and it works out. You can also ask about costs during your first call to the course, that way you don't go through the whole routine if its outside of your budget.




    Good idea there Dave. I think in the future that's how I'll approach it, don't get our guys involved until its necessary. Have most clubs been receptive when you've called?


    Yeah, I don't remember ever having a problem. I've never tried this at a high-end course, and I'm not sure I'd even try at the rare private clubs in resort areas (like Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst). One thing I've done is to let my home pro know where I'm going, and tell him I might be calling. Lots of golf professionals have contacts all over the country, so you might get a good recommendation or better than average treatment if your pro has a good local connection.




    Good to know. Our guys are pretty young so may not have those connections. Our old pro must though, he just took a trip to California. Cypress Point, Riviera, LA Country Club, Monterey Penn CC., and SFGC.



    That just sounds like a really good idea. I really like not having to put our guys in kind of awkward situations.




    That must have been an amazing golf trip 😎




    I just wish I knew someone who could offer up some details on it!��
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  • BMCBMC Members Posts: 3,558 ✭✭
    There's a new service for privates offering reciprocal play called Open Rounds. Booking is done online for participating clubs.

    You may want to encourage your club to join.
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  • WestCoastHackerWestCoastHacker Members Posts: 160 ✭✭
    edited Jul 11, 2018 #44
    My rule of thumb for a Top 100 course is to budget US$500 if playing unaccompanied. That amount will get you out most places with a caddie (which is often mandatory). If the guys I'm travelling with don't like that number - I don't bother asking our pro. Most of the nice places my pro has been kind enough to arrange for me have been between 400-500 USD. Some more, some less.
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  • johnnylongballjohnnylongball Members Posts: 549 ✭✭
    Bluefan75 wrote:


    That is the spot I'm in. I don't like to not know what the price is. It's not that I won't pay it. I just like knowing the details before even asking. I once asked our pro about a course in Florida. He made some inquiries, and I think they realized there may be some uncomfortableness, cause in their reply they basically asked "please let us know if he is good with this." It was going to come out to about $200.



    That was an uncomfortable situation, but luckily, I don't think our course in Canada is likely to be too affected with this particular course if I did indeed burn the membership on this place. But still, I do not want to go through that again. I am good to the pro so this didn't affect future calls on my behalf, but ti's just an awkward situation. Since I didn't grow up in the environment, I've had to learn from the school of hard knocks.




    Call the club you're interested in and ask them what their unaccompanied guest rate is. They will probably tell you. You might also want to ask if there is a mandatory caddy, etc., to get the total out of pocket.
  • Big BenBig Ben Members Posts: 8,974 ✭✭
    edited Jul 11, 2018 #46


    Do you guys think it is OK for the pro to also check on price when checking to see if they will let you play?



    I don't want to blindly commit to a round that might be far more expensive than anticipated.



    FWIW, I've had our pro check prices, but if that is putting them in a bad position I won't do it any more.
    I would not, if he or she is going to ask for a favor he's assuming you are willing to pay the freight.
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  • DestroyerDestroyer Members Posts: 334 ✭✭
    Well this is my experience. I am a member at a nice course. I work part time at a really nice course, in maint. i have talked to my pro and assistant pro and they can get me on at many courses but they can not get me on the place i work at cause it's a high end course. the connection they have at the other private courses i will pay the guest rate, not the unaccompanied guest rate, that is where being a member is good. now there are a few other nice private courses that all i have to do is pay the cart fee to play, that is due to the place i work. so the OP has a couple of avenues to work. all you have to do is ask. You won't be offending anyone. this is the fun stuff you can discover in the business!!
  • leejohnkiehleejohnkieh Members Posts: 557 ✭✭
    dr_nerve wrote:


    What kinds of success have you guys had with trying to get on other private courses by reciprocal agreements between the head pros? I'm working for my club in south Houston and taking lessons with our head pro over the summer, and was hoping to see if he could help me try to play a round on Champions or Carlton Woods up in Cypress. I'm also heading up to Seattle in August to visit family, and we normally play a couple rounds at their local muni together, but we're trying to do something more special this time. Would it be possible to try reserving tee times at courses like Aldarra or Snoqualmie Ridge up there, given enough time in advance?




    So I'm a member out at Tacoma and I would suggest also seeing if you could play at Tacoma if one of those others don't work out. Best conditioned course and practice facility hands down I think.
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  • mallratmallrat Members Posts: 2,916 ✭✭

    dr_nerve wrote:


    What kinds of success have you guys had with trying to get on other private courses by reciprocal agreements between the head pros? I'm working for my club in south Houston and taking lessons with our head pro over the summer, and was hoping to see if he could help me try to play a round on Champions or Carlton Woods up in Cypress. I'm also heading up to Seattle in August to visit family, and we normally play a couple rounds at their local muni together, but we're trying to do something more special this time. Would it be possible to try reserving tee times at courses like Aldarra or Snoqualmie Ridge up there, given enough time in advance?




    So I'm a member out at Tacoma and I would suggest also seeing if you could play at Tacoma if one of those others don't work out. Best conditioned course and practice facility hands down I think.




    Never played there but rumor is best greens in the PNW (Washington, Idaho and Oregon)
  • leejohnkiehleejohnkieh Members Posts: 557 ✭✭
    mallrat wrote:

    dr_nerve wrote:


    What kinds of success have you guys had with trying to get on other private courses by reciprocal agreements between the head pros? I'm working for my club in south Houston and taking lessons with our head pro over the summer, and was hoping to see if he could help me try to play a round on Champions or Carlton Woods up in Cypress. I'm also heading up to Seattle in August to visit family, and we normally play a couple rounds at their local muni together, but we're trying to do something more special this time. Would it be possible to try reserving tee times at courses like Aldarra or Snoqualmie Ridge up there, given enough time in advance?




    So I'm a member out at Tacoma and I would suggest also seeing if you could play at Tacoma if one of those others don't work out. Best conditioned course and practice facility hands down I think.




    Never played there but rumor is best greens in the PNW (Washington, Idaho and Oregon)


    Oh yea. Greens run 12+ year round
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  • WestCoastHackerWestCoastHacker Members Posts: 160 ✭✭

    mallrat wrote:

    dr_nerve wrote:


    What kinds of success have you guys had with trying to get on other private courses by reciprocal agreements between the head pros? I'm working for my club in south Houston and taking lessons with our head pro over the summer, and was hoping to see if he could help me try to play a round on Champions or Carlton Woods up in Cypress. I'm also heading up to Seattle in August to visit family, and we normally play a couple rounds at their local muni together, but we're trying to do something more special this time. Would it be possible to try reserving tee times at courses like Aldarra or Snoqualmie Ridge up there, given enough time in advance?




    So I'm a member out at Tacoma and I would suggest also seeing if you could play at Tacoma if one of those others don't work out. Best conditioned course and practice facility hands down I think.




    Never played there but rumor is best greens in the PNW (Washington, Idaho and Oregon)


    Oh yea. Greens run 12+ year round




    12+ in the summer, sure. But how on earth are you getting greens to a 12 in the PNW in late fall, winter, spring?
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  • leejohnkiehleejohnkieh Members Posts: 557 ✭✭


    mallrat wrote:

    dr_nerve wrote:


    What kinds of success have you guys had with trying to get on other private courses by reciprocal agreements between the head pros? I'm working for my club in south Houston and taking lessons with our head pro over the summer, and was hoping to see if he could help me try to play a round on Champions or Carlton Woods up in Cypress. I'm also heading up to Seattle in August to visit family, and we normally play a couple rounds at their local muni together, but we're trying to do something more special this time. Would it be possible to try reserving tee times at courses like Aldarra or Snoqualmie Ridge up there, given enough time in advance?




    So I'm a member out at Tacoma and I would suggest also seeing if you could play at Tacoma if one of those others don't work out. Best conditioned course and practice facility hands down I think.




    Never played there but rumor is best greens in the PNW (Washington, Idaho and Oregon)


    Oh yea. Greens run 12+ year round




    12+ in the summer, sure. But how on earth are you getting greens to a 12 in the PNW in late fall, winter, spring?




    okay 12 is an exaggeration lol 10 is more the reasonable number. They roll pure all year long though.
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  • PuttLeftHitRightPuttLeftHitRight Members Posts: 2,261 ✭✭
    BMC wrote:


    Remember, the hosting club appreciates your "guest" fee, it's a business.




    Sure, if it's a regular private club. I suspect an equity club is not run as a business though and they probably don't need your cash.
  • cristphotocristphoto Members Posts: 3,315 ✭✭
    I’ve had both scenarios when our head pro arranged play. First time was totally free (but was early Spring). The other time I had to pay a guest fee but didn’t pay at the course. It was added on to my monthly bill.
  • Florida GatorFlorida Gator Members Posts: 1,029 ✭✭
    Some clubs send an email out with guest fees, rules and regulations. Waialai CC has a 2 or 3 page doc my pro forwarded to me when he booked my tee time there.
  • Florida GatorFlorida Gator Members Posts: 1,029 ✭✭
    Also, I do this quite often. If I play a really nice course, I’ll bring something back for the pro that booked the round for me.
  • monty09monty09 Members Posts: 243 ✭✭
    Pro at my club got me on to 8 courses in the top 50 of the top 100 GD list... none were cheap but all were great exp
  • DameLoftedUpDameLoftedUp Spam Posts: 4
    doesn't anyone else find this system of a pro being your travel agent to be very dated, like it's still 1991? There are some apps out there that can replicate that same network of reciprocity. the newest of which is called the echelon golf network (echelongolfnetwork.com) which i strongly suggest you all check out despite it being in its infant stages.
  • AppAlumAppAlum Members Posts: 748 ✭✭

    BMC wrote:


    Remember, the hosting club appreciates your "guest" fee, it's a business.




    Sure, if it's a regular private club. I suspect an equity club is not run as a business though and they probably don't need your cash.




    Equity Clubs have budgets to meet as well.
  • PuttLeftHitRightPuttLeftHitRight Members Posts: 2,261 ✭✭
    monty09 wrote:


    Pro at my club got me on to 8 courses in the top 50 of the top 100 GD list... none were cheap but all were great exp




    How nice of a club do you belong to?
  • speeder757speeder757 Members Posts: 1,080 ✭✭
    edited Aug 18, 2018 #61
    Use some common sense.....

    Anyone/including yourself can pick up the phone and call the pro shop at any club in the country and ask if they offer recripricol (and with your club) and what the guest fee would be. Then at that point ask your pro to call if you so desire to go there. Most clubs will reciprocate Private to Private. It's not that difficult
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